Friday, October 27, 2017

The Discrete Charm of the Turing Machine, by Greg Egan

Find this issue
(Dystopia) Dan loses his job and goes looking for something that hasn’t already been automated away. There’s not much, and what he does find is rather strange. (12,004 words; Time: 40m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"The Discrete Charm of the Turing Machine," by (edited by Sheila Williams), appeared in issue 11-12|17, published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: Dan gets at least a short-term solution to his problem, and, more importantly, he finds a cause to work towards.

It’s rather cute that someone is paying people for make work because they’d be too proud to accept charity.

Dan and his wife have a believable relationship with each other and with their families, and it's touching how they support each other.

Con: This is a “cardboard dystopia,” based on believing the Lump of Labor Fallacy and denying the Law of Comparative Advantage. The idea that progress is going to impoverish almost everyone by taking all the jobs is very old (~200 years old), it comes up over and over, and it’s always wrong.

It's discouraging that the only answer Dan can find is to turn saboteur and start destroying technology. "Progress is the enemy" is an annoying message.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 11-12|17)
Greg Egan Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

Follow RSR on Twitter, Facebook, RSS, or E-mail.

No comments (may contain spoilers):

Post a Comment (comment policy)